Why New Year’s Matters

I don’t subscribe to the idea that January 1st is just another day. I don’t believe that the New Year is a trivial holiday. In fact, I think the transition from one year to the next can be one of the most significant times we experience every 12 months.

Why? Because it reminds us that time only moves in one direction.

Another year has passed and when I reflect on those 12 months, I have mixed emotions. 2016 was not my favorite year. My cat died suddenly in July. I failed to run a sub-4 marathon time in Chicago. I chickened out of taking a risk I’ve been wanting to take for years. I saw crisis around the globe that broke my heart and hatred in my own backyard. 2016 was steeped in negativity.

Of course, it had its positives. Even though I didn’t run a sub-4 time, I still completed my first World Major in one of my favorite cities. My husband and I adopted a rescue dog who has fit into our little family so well and already brought us so much joy. We bought our first brand-new car, which took us as far as Niagara Falls without fear of breaking down (and provided much-needed working air conditioning). My hockey team, the Pittsburgh Penguins, won the Stanley Cup and my husband’s beloved Chicago Cubs finally ended their 108-year drought. 2016 had its bright moments.

But the real point of New Year’s is to look back on what happened the last 12 months and ask ourselves: Are we living our values? Are we advancing toward our goals? Are we taking the time to do what’s important to us? Or did another year pass in a blink of an eye without us realizing it?

A year seems like a long time and yet I’m always amazed at just how quickly it passes. And that’s what I love about New Year’s. That’s why I make a big deal about it. It’s not about indulging in alcohol to watch the countdown or making frivolous resolutions we’ll only keep for 2 weeks. It’s about recognizing the fact that another year of our lives has passed. Twelve months of our time is gone that we can never get back. Did we use it and appreciate it the best we could’ve?

I created this blog to write about my attempt to live life intentionally so I could answer that last question with a resounding YES. I can’t say that was 100% true for 2016, but I can say it was the year I became aware of my intentions, how I was spending my time and the life I want to live.

Over the next 12 months I’ll be working on holding myself accountable to my goals and values by checking in monthly on what I did or didn’t do, what I learned, and what my next steps are going to be moving forward.

Time only moves one way, and in 2017, I intend to keep up with it.

Happy New Year’s. Here’s to 2017.

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